Performance Enhancement & Health

Special Issue: The Dark Side of Performance Enhancement, Sport and Lifestyle

Guest Editors

This special issue is produced in collaboration with the Human Enhancement Drugs Network (HEDN):

  • Katinka van de Ven National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Kyle Mulrooney Doctorate in Cultural and Global Criminology, University of Kent, United Kingdom, and University Hamburg, Germany
  • Anders Schmidt Vinther Department of Health and Culture, Aalborg Antidoping, Aalborg Municipality, Denmark

You can find the link to the journal HERE.

Deadline for submission: 1 March 2018

Publication date: later 2018

Each year people spend billions of dollars to get in shape, improve their appearance and to maintain or restore a healthy lifestyle – from training gear and wearable technologies to nutrition plans, cosmetic surgery and even enhancement drugs. While many of these activities and habits can be viewed as fundamentally positive in their pursuit of good physical and mental health (e.g. dieting to lose weight), there are also various forms of harmful activities that are ‘side-lined’, over-looked and/or ignored. This includes, for example, excessive exercise, problematic eating behaviour, the abuse of enhancement drugs for lifestyle purposes, or the use of alcohol or other drugs by athletes in order to cope with the growing pressure to perform. For this special issue we are interested in the fine line dividing a healthy lifestyle and an unhealthy obsession with improving the human condition – the ‘dark side’ of performance enhancement, sport and lifestyle.

Potential topics include:

  • Contributions which consider the link between eating disorders, excessive exercise and body image;
  • Papers focused on the use of traditional drugs (including alcohol) within sport/fitness settings;
  • Papers which consider the relationship between lifestyle, wellbeing and the use of human enhancement drugs (cognitive enhancers, PIEDs, sexual enhancers, etc.);
  • Studies which focus on the ‘hidden dangers’ of cosmetic surgery; and
  • Contributions that explore the unintended consequences of digital technology (e.g. wearables and fitness/exercise applications) used for lifestyle purposes.

The top 2-3 articles will also be turned into an infographic and will be made freely accessible for three months. This will ensure visibility of your work and increase impact. The author(s) of the selected articles will co-design the infographic to ensure that the main message and key points are portrayed.

Submissions of any of the above topics and related issues are welcome. Please feel free to contact the Associate Editor Dr Katinka van de Ven ( in advance for advice on potential suitability of any proposed manuscript.

For general guidelines on the appropriate preparation of manuscripts please visit the journal’s website. Please submit your paper to Performance Enhancement & Health via EVISE, indicating that it is intended for this special issue.